PhD Scholarship in Physical Geography Arctic Hydrogeology

International students are invited for a PhD scholarship in environmental sciences at Stockholm University. The initial contract for this position is four years. Eligible candidates should submit the applications before February 15, 2019.

The Department of Physical Geography is one of the major departments within the Faculty of Science. The department has approximately 135 employees and educates approximately 1000 students annually. Education is oriented towards geography, geosciences, biology-earth sciences and environmental management. The main research areas are: Biogeography and Geomatics, Climate science and quaternary geology, Environment, resource dynamics and management, Geomorphology and glaciology, and Hydrology, Water resources and permafrost.The chosen candidate will find a stimulating and friendly environment in a very diverse and international department with high quality research and teaching.

Project description

The doctoral studies will be conducted within the framework of a project on hydrogeology in arctic permafrost environments. Effects of climate change are highly pronounced in the arctic with significant changes occurring in various arctic hydrological systems. The active layer of permafrost environments is a particularly sensitive and critical zone of exchange, with links between the hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, and is strongly influenced by hydro-meteorological variability and climate change. Changes in flow and transport pathways in the active layer impact carbon release from thawing permafrost and is an important climate feedback mechanism.

This project aims to investigate soil and groundwater flow and transport in the active layer of permafrost environments. The focus is to study and quantify processes and environmental controls governing the dynamics of heat transfer, water flow and solute transport in the active layer, considering both present-day conditions and future climate conditions. The method will be a combination of numerical modelling using advanced research codes for flow and transport in arctic systems as well as conducting hydrogeological investigations in the field, primarily on Svalbard, which will include new tracer tests.

Experience in numerical modelling of water flow, heat flow and solute transport is desired, as well as experience in programming, scripting and processing of field and model data. Experience of fieldwork in the arctic is advantageous. Relevant degree areas include geosciences, or physics and computational sciences, the latter preferably with geoscientific experience.

Qualification requirements

In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

In order to meetthe specific entry requirements, and to fulfil the general syllabus for doctoral studies in the field of physical geography, the candidate for this position should have acquired a total of 240 higher education credits (of which at least 60 at advanced level), or acquired in some alternative fashion, the equivalent knowledge in Geoscience, Environmental Science or other relevant natural or engineering science.

The qualification requirements must be met by the deadline for applications.


The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their capacity to benefit from the doctoral education. The following criteria will be used to assess this capacity: the candidates' documented knowledge in a relevant field of research, written and oral proficiency in English, the capacity for analytical thinking, problem-solving and creativity, numerical modelling and programming skills, the ability to collaborate in groups as well as working independently. The assessment will be based on previous experience and grades, the quality of the degree project, references, relevant experience, interviews, and the candidate's written motivation for seeking the position.

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at: and regulations.

Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship.

The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study.

Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Please note that admission decisions cannot be appealed.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.


Apply for the PhD student position at Stockholm University’s recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

Please include the following information with your application

and, in addition, please include the following documents


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